Category Archives: Memories

Train a parade horse

Have you wanted to take your horses in a parade, but you aren’t sure if they are ready? Will your reliable trail horse freak out by the commotion of a parade?

Icelandic horse ridden in July 4th parade

Bangsi only got worried at the very start of the parade.

How does a horse prepare for being ridden in a parade? How do you train a parade horse?

Start by letting your horses watch a parade. Let them watch safely on the sidelines, just like humans get to do. Pick a small town parade before you go to a major parade. Choose one that has an easy way to duck out, if your horse becomes overwhelmed. Try to find a parade that is horse friendly. There are parades that cater to horses, which are excellent as a first parade to lead or ride in.

Horse watching parade pass by with float of capping the 2010 BP oil spill.

Twistur watching the parade.

The wait for the start of the parade in the staging area can be tiring and chaotic. Take your horse to participate in a staging area, even if not actually being in the parade.

Even in a small parade you may experience loud sirens, blaring lights, balloons, whistles, bicycles, strollers,  electric wheelchairs, motorcycles, streamers, barking dogs, other horses or mini-donkeys, ATVs, clowns, kids running around, marching bands, truck air brakes, blowing objects of all sorts, frisbee thrown overhead, balls, loud speaker feedback, revving engines, horns, flags, waving, firecrackers, yelling, squeaks, car back firing, and candy tossed from passing floats. If you can think of something crazy happening, then you might see it at a large parade. Be prepared to walk on asphalt with potholes, crunching candy wrappers under foot and items blowing across the road. Check out the route before taking your horse.

Can your horse walk slowly and stand quietly amidst noise and excitement? The pace of a parade may be uneven with lots of time standing waiting, then just as suddenly needing to speed up. Practice at home with your horse with various spooky objects. Let them know that they can stand quietly and watch and listen to craziness.

Walking with our horse in local town Independence Day parade.

Why not walk in a parade? It is fun too!

Even if you plan to just lead your horse, make sure you have good control of your horse on the ground. If they are ready, then after letting them watch a passing parade try walking them in a parade as a groundwork training exercise.  It’s fun to walk in a parade too, so if you aren’t sure if you want to ride then you can lead instead. Later you can try riding in a parade, then maybe an even bigger parade another time.

We use clicker training with de-spooking. This works well for us and our horses.

A parade can make great de-spooking practice, but you can start small and build up to riding in the  Rose Bowl.

Be safe and wear your helmet!

Take A Horse in a Parade Safely

Parade Horse Training Tips

Preparing to Ride in a Parade

Excellent suggestions for preparing and riding in a parade.

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Filed under Citizenship, Pets, Training

Sweet things in life

Made on Dec 25, 2010
Authentic Mexican Marranitos (Molasses Gingerbread Pigs)

Moist and rich-tasting beneath a glossy, ever-so-slightly flaky top. Not quite cookie, not quite cake. Marranitos — or cochinos, or puerquitos, as they are called in some Mexican-American communities — are often called “Gingerbread Pigs,” although they don’t actually have ginger in them.

My mother remembered marranitos fondly from childhood when my great-grandmother baked them. She always had some for Christmas. I’m so glad that I made these cookies for us to enjoy last year. Seems my great-grandmother didn’t use as much baking soda, as my Mom’s memory was the cookies were not as fluffy as mine.

My Mom passed away in August 2011.

Spending time with family is so precious. Sure miss her and my mind keeps forgetting that I can’t pick up the phone to say hi or go for a visit.

My great-grandparents & grandparents fled from Mexico to the US during Pancho Villa’s ‘Mexican Revolution’. Starting over from next to nothing, but with their lives, they pursued the American dream! Thankfully back in 1913 immigration was legally just a matter of taking a train ride across the border.

My Grandmother’s marranito handmade cookie cutter is now an heirloom antique and not used anymore to bake.


1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup unsulphured molasses
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
6 cups all-purpose flour

Egg wash
1 egg


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together brown sugar, shortening, baking soda, cinnamon and vanilla until the mixture forms a firm paste.
  3. Add, mixing after each addition until blended, the molasses, egg and milk.
  4. Gradually add the flour, mixing to form a dough; Roll dough out to about 1/4 inch thick; cut with a large pig-shaped cutter; Place each marranito on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. In a cup or small bowl, beat egg; Using a pastry brush, paint tops of marranitos lightly with beaten egg.
  6. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until browned.

Found recipe at

*This recipe is from Fort Worth, Texas baker Marco Rangel, and is used for the cookies he sells at his bakery, the Panaderia San Marcos. It uses the non-traditional addition of cinnamon.

Music: Feliz Navidad (Merry Christmas)
Iranian-Armenian flamenco guitarist and composer

Music: Mi Burrito Sabanero
Con Mi Burrito Sabanero (With my Grasslands Donkey) is a wonderful Spanish Christmas Carol (or Villancico).
Author: Hugo Blanco
adaptation by: XURAZU
ritmo adaptado: Huayno selvatico
Album: Navidad En Las Alturas (Christmas In The Heights)
Members: Luis Ricaldi Rosas, Abel Ricaldi Rosas
Hometown: La Oroya, Peru / xurazu
© 2008 La Oroya – Peru

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Filed under Family, Food related, Memories, Recipes